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Venice - Cicchetti Tour with Alessandro - Food and Wine?

Hello! We're thinking about taking Alessandro's bar tour recommended in Steves' Venice. Can people who took this tour report on how it was? Was the guide funny/entertaining/informative? Were the bars fun? Was it worth the price?

Also, I'm wondering what kinds of Cicchetti were provided. Was there a variety? I'm a bit of a picky eater, and I want to make sure I'm not paying for things I won't like. How are the portions? How much wine do you get?

Thanks for the help!

Posted by
15941 posts

Was the guide funny/entertaining/informative?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I wrote a review last year for the tour on this forum. I'll try to dig it up.

Here it is. Since it is a long report on a 3 day visit, the description of the tour is in the comments section near the end marked "conclusion". Also includes Carnevale and what goes on during Acqua Alta.
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/3-nights-in-venice-carnevale-grand-opening-acqua-alta-and-alessandro-s-tours

Regarding the cicchetti, have a taste, if that one doesn't suit you, give it a pass and wait for the next plate.

Posted by
152 posts

We had a great time with Alessandro in September. He's lots of fun, very informative, especially about local wines (I don't mean local as just in the Veneto, but how to find wonderful local wines wherever you may be in Italy). Loved the little bars, had great company in the others in the group, and all this in a pouring rainstorm! He does fill up early as it's a small group, so plan ahead. Enjoy!

Posted by
15941 posts

I'm a bit of a picky eater, and I want to make sure I'm not paying for things I won't like.

Traditionally, the cicchetto was free when you bought a glass of wine. It was an inducement to hang around and have another glass, and of course, hang out there. It might be different now depending on where you go. So you paid for the wine, but the cicchetti was free.
We once hung out at a joint and 3 big glasses of wine at 5 euro each. We pigged out on cicchetti, including little prosciutto sandwiches. When we went to pay the bill, the owner counted out 6 glasses of wine and said "30 euro." I said "But what about all the cicchetti?" He said "OK, if it makes you feel better, 35 euro."

And Alessandro makes sure your wine glass doesn't get empty.

Posted by
66 posts

Jess,
What everyone else said. We did the tour last May and we'll be doing it again this May. Had a great time.

Did someone mention wine?????

Enjoy,
Gene

Posted by
46 posts

A HIGHLIGHT of our trip to Venice! We were at the end of our trip to Italy and a little tired. Actually just felt like staying in hotel room with a little snack and some wine but roused ourselves to going out and meeting Alessandro for the bar tour that night. So glad we did! Met some great people, drank very good wine, wandered back streets of Venice, and got to know Alessandro. So knowledgeable and so personal. Lots of wine to drink! Great cicchetti - lots of variety, but most of all lots of fun!! Highly recommend! Hope you do this tour!

Posted by
2262 posts

Me too! Well worth the modest expense. Lots of food, lots of wine, we even had pricey Amarone at a bar called, Amarone! As for whether you'll like all the Cicchetti, hard to say, depends on your tastes. I usually like everything. I never would have found, or gone into, all these places on my own. Alessandro is a lot of fun too.

Posted by
16 posts

Another Viva Alessandro Wine Crawl!

Four of us took this tour 3 years ago, and one of our group was not a wine drinker (What?! Really?) and even she had a good time. The food is different than in the US, of course, but when in Rome . . . Be adventurous!